Van Ryzin, M. N., Leve, L. D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Shaw, D. S., Natsuaki, M. N., & Reiss, D. (in press). Genetic influences can protect against unresponsive parenting in the prediction of child social competence. Child Development.
Abstract: Although social competence in children has been linked to the quality of parenting, prior research has typically not accounted for genetic similarities between parents and children, or for interactions between environmental (i.e., parental) and genetic influences. In this paper, we evaluate the possibility of a gene-by-environment (GxE) interaction in the prediction of social competence in school-age children. Using a longitudinal, multi-method dataset from a sample of children adopted at birth (N = 361), we found a significant interaction between birth parent sociability and sensitive, responsive adoptive parenting when predicting child social competence at school entry (age 6), even when controlling for potential confounds. An analysis of the interaction revealed that genetic strengths can buffer the effects of unresponsive parenting.